IV. T. Distance Education
The goal of distance education at North Georgia Technical
College (NGTC) is to provide students the opportunity to access
quality instruction in flexible learning environments.
Such access is desired to facilitate a barrier-free
delivery of instruction through synchronous and asynchronous
technologies. The college
offers multiple quality technology-based learning environments
that expand learning resources to include videoconferencing and
online learning. The
college’s distance education offers increased access for
students and provides for the education and training needs of
the communities it serves.
All full-time and part-time faculty teaching distance education
courses must meet the same criteria for academic and
professional preparation as those teaching courses delivered in
Faculty are given the opportunity and encouraged to develop
courses for electronic delivery with the approval and guidance
of the Dean for Academic Affairs and the Distance Education
Specialist; however, participation in distance learning
activities by faculty must occur on a voluntary basis.
Selection of faculty for distance learning delivery takes
into consideration their personal interest in instructional
innovation, demonstrated ability to adapt instruction to
non-traditional or innovative delivery, and their successful
record of teaching in the traditional mode – verified through
student and supervisory evaluations and observations.
Selection of Distance Learning Courses/Programs
Videoconferencing technologies allow faculty on one campus to
share resources and to interact with students on other campuses.
Faculty wishing to offer courses over videoconferencing
technologies must first discuss the feasibility of the course
delivery with the Dean for Academic Affairs.
Courses are scheduled in videoconferencing labs on a
first-come, first-served basis and are limited only by available
allow faculty and students to interact anytime at any place.
The college offers synchronous and asynchronous learning
environments. Prior to
online course/program development, faculty submit a proposal to
the Distance Education Specialist indicating specific intentions
for course delivery. The
request for approval includes:
Rationale for specific
Development and implementation
required by faculty and/or students
After review by the Distance Education
Specialist, the proposal is forwarded to the appropriate Dean
for final approval.
Faculty training is important to a successful distance education
program. A comprehensive
program of staff development for delivery of distance education
incorporates training about the modes of delivery; developing,
building, effectively delivering, and assessing distance
education instruction; and enhancing distance education courses
using the latest innovative technologies.
Training is provided as needed individually and in small
Prior to implementing an online course,
faculty must participate in training for and demonstrate
proficiency in the use of the approved learning management
system for course delivery.
A faculty member developing a course for videoconferencing
delivery will receive no additional compensation for course
development. Because the
course will be delivered synchronously as with traditional
classroom instruction, faculty is expected to utilize standard
course preparation and procedures.
A full-time faculty member developing a
course for online learning may be relieved of one class teaching
assignment for the purpose of new online course development and
reduction in teaching assignments shall terminate with the
successful implementation and development of the new online
time for the development of any given course shall not exceed
one semester. The Vice
President for Academic Affairs may grant an extension of release
time for development purposes when appropriate.
Teaching Load and Class
Teaching load for classes taught in videoconferencing
delivery mode follows standard protocol for traditional classes.
Such courses may be assigned to be taught during the day,
evenings, or weekends.
Teaching assignments may include teaching at one or more
campus/site locations or any combination thereof.
A full class size for online courses is
calculated at a minimum of 10 students.
In cases where more than one online course is taught
(with none having the required 10 enrollment), the total
enrollment of the courses may be used to equate to one class for
teaching load purposes.
Contact hours would be calculated by an average of the combined
courses. In the event
that one online course exceeds 40 enrolled students, the course
may be counted as two classes for teaching load purposes.
Full-time faculty will allot appropriate time for online classes
on their class schedule.
The recommended teaching load is 18 to 29 contact hours.
Exceptions are based upon types of classes, number and
types of preparations, advisement load, class size, and other
documented and approved considerations with the approval of the
Vice President for Academic Affairs.
The college’s policies regarding intellectual property may be
found in NGTC Policy II.E.1., Intellectual Property, and in the
State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia Policy
II.E.1., Intellectual Property.
Library and Other
The unique nature of online learning presents significant
challenges to traditional instructional methodology.
Nonetheless, equitable access to learning resources must
be provided to students who elect to take courses traditionally
or through distance education.
In addition to on-campus library collections, NGTC offers
all students online library resources through the official NGTC
Online Library. The NGTC
Online Library is accessible from the college’s website and from
within each online course.
NGTC’s Online Library offers several research databases,
library orientations, listings of campus library offerings, and
access to library loan options. Faculty who teach online classes
can refer students to these resources or may provide direct
Internet links to subject-specific online library resources.
North Georgia Technical College’s website and the Georgia
Virtual Technical Connection (GVTC) website provide information
about each member of the colleges’ student affairs division.
North Georgia Technical College’s website offers
traditional and online students information about student
services and contact information for student affairs personnel.
Student affairs processes are also accessible to all
students in the online NGTC Course Catalog/Student Handbook.
Finally, student affairs information can be accessed by
online students from within each online course.
The college also provides all students with an online
portal for distance education to include an explanation of
attributes associated with courses delivered through
videoconferencing technologies and online learning.
The portal provides help desk contact information and
tutorials for succeeding within the different distance education
Prior to enrolling in an online course, all online students must
pass an online readiness survey which indicates a basic
understanding of technology demands in online learning.
GVTC is a course/program portal for students
who desire to take online classes in any college within the
Technical College System of Georgia.
In addition to NGTC’s local student affairs services, the
GVTC provides a ten-hour per day student support service.
Additionally, the GVTC maintains a current listing of
college student affairs personnel on its website to include the
financial aid director, registrar, and admissions director.
Students may apply and register for online courses at the
host college or through GVTC.
Additionally, GVTC maintains a website that
provides applications for admission, course offerings by
college, a self-assessment to determine if a student is a good
candidate to participate in online learning, and a listing of
the minimum requirements for participating in web-based
learning. Students are
encouraged to visit the GVTC website to complete the
self-assessment prior to being considered a candidate for a
distance education course.
GVTC also provides a link to each college so that
students may receive additional information which may not be
available on the GVTC website.
Evaluation of Instructional Results
Videoconference mode courses are evaluated in the same manner as
Online courses are evaluated for
effectiveness by peer evaluation methods.
Members of the Distance Learning and Education Committee
(DLEC) serve as evaluators for assessing online course
communication effectiveness, course design, student/student
interactivity, student/faculty interactivity, and use of
The DLEC is a working committee comprised of online faculty,
student services staff, and academic affairs staff that focuses
on continuous improvement in distance education at NGTC.
Peer review evaluations of online courses also compare
traditional on-campus sections of the same course with online
sections. When significant discrepancies are found between
electronic and traditional on-campus modes of instruction,
faculty must investigate further, take corrective action, assess
the modifications, and document the changes.
Evaluation results and a corrective action plan must be
developed, reviewed and implemented with administrative
approval, and must be administered by faculty and used in the
peer evaluation of the course.
Respective Deans for Academic affairs use
other evaluation criteria such as attrition rates, grade
distributions, and low enrollment trends.
Students are able to evaluate distance
education courses to assess quality and appropriateness of
instructional content and support materials, availability and
responsiveness of faculty, and the clarity of course
requirements and deadlines.
Evaluation instruments include the effectiveness of the
Admission and Graduation
Students enrolled in distance education courses must meet the
same requirements for admission and degree/diploma/certificate
completion as students enrolled in campus-based programs.
The curriculum of each program must be the same
regardless of course delivery mode.
The instructional content and academic credit of distance
education courses must be equivalent to that of corresponding
Grading and Transcripts
Policies for academic grading, work ethics evaluation, and
transcripts are the same for distance education courses as for
traditional on-campus courses. Courses delivered by online
technologies require one proctored assignment, which provides
assurance that students receiving course grades are the same
students who are performing the work.
There should not be any notation on the transcript that
identifies a course as delivered via videoconferencing or online
XIII. Privacy of Students
NGTC abides by the Family Educational Rights
and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as outlined in the NGTC Course
Catalog/Student Handbook, to protect the confidentiality of all
student records, including those for distance learning.
Students who attend distance learning courses
via online technologies access the learning environment through
the Angel learning environment. The Georgia Virtual Technical
Connection (GVTC) is the portal for the online learning for the
colleges in the Technical College System of Georgia. The Angel
learning management system provides a secure and unique nine
digit student identification number login and password. GVTC
to students from the NGTC Angel Logon Web Page.
Students who attend distance learning courses
via videoconferencing technologies access learning environments
in two ways: 1) via the ANGEL learning environment or 2) via
traditional campus classrooms equipped with Tandberg
videoconferencing tools. The Angel learning environment offers
the Elluminate Live synchronous videoconferencing tool.
Therefore, student privacy is protected by Angel secure login
and password. Tandberg videoconferencing classrooms are provided
the same privacy options as offered by traditional classes.
The Vice President for Academic Affairs has the overall
responsibility for ensuring this policy is implemented.
Adopted: January 2012
Revised and Approved:
Code: Distance Education
NORTH GEORGIA TECHNICAL COLLEGE